Dear Auntie Linda


Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I was out to dinner with a group of friends from work when John, an old boyfriend, spotted me and stopped by our table. We were a couple for a few months until I realized he was a narcissist and I realized I needed out. I don’t know why I ever went out with him to start with since he had three ex-wives and four children. We remained on vaguely friendly terms, so I wasn’t surprised he stopped off speak to me. me. Part of the reason we broke up was because I found out he cheated with old girlfriends the whole time I thought we were in a committed relationship. That, and the fact the he became more critical and more manipulative the whole time we were together. I am now happily married with a new baby., now, and want nothing to do with him. One…

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The Most Fun You’ll Never Have, Kathleen’s Amazing Bathroom Tour!



imageKathleen Swain and her daughters

Upper Left, Linda Swain Bethea, Right, Phyllis Swain Barrington

First Row Left, Kathleen Holdaway Swain (see how deceptively nice she looks)  Connie Swain Miller, Marilyn Grisham
It’s discouraging writing about my mother, Kathleen Holdaway Swain.  Despite my long, rich history of complaining endlessly about the trials of dealing with her, she keeps getting the best of me.  It’s made worse because I tower over her, outweigh her, and am much more physically imposing, but then, who isn’t?  I do my best to take care of her, and should I exhibit the slightest impatience, onlookers treat me like I am maligning a saint.  Granted, she is tiny, far less than five feet tall, has a squeaky Minnie Mouse voice, and looks like a delightful little old church-lady.  Though she smiles and greets every soul she meets, inwardly she is malicious and conniving, constantly plotting to…

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Crazy Charlsie Part 2

Early on, Charley loved school.  Because she was bright, friendly, and excelled at games, she had no shortage of playmates.  She grew up in a time when girls didn’t wear pants to school.    Cora dressed her in good, serviceable styles that didn’t get in the way of fun since  she had no interest in frilly dresses or fussy hair. The minute she flew in the door, she skinned out of her dresses and into her pants.  None of the family focused on her clothes, figuring the girls had been through enough.  Little Ginny, her greatest admirer, was always waiting expectantly for Charley on the front porch or at the front window.  Ginny was as feminine as her mother, though their differences were not an issue for the girls.

Naturally, Cora bathed the girls together and Charley had remarked on their differences, to which Cora replied, “If everbody was just alike, it would be a mighty dull world.”

Charley accepted that, remarking, “Ginny’s plain and I’m fancy!”

“You’re just a little different, that’s all.  Just like your hair is red and Ginny’s is white, but don’t say nothing to make her feel bad.  It’s all good.” Cora answered.

Satisfied with Cora’s explanation, Charley gave their differing anatomies no further thought, going back to her soap and bubbles.

In her comfortable  world, Charley hadn’t dealt with gender confusion, cruelty, or peer pressure.  Then hormones kicked in.  Charley was among the tallest in the class, so not surprisingly, she showed early breast development, for which she received unwelcome attention.  One day, she was groped as she played football.  “Hey, Charley’s got titties!”  A boy jeered. She kicked him and strode off, furious and humiliated.Her peers and her body left her feeling alienated, mortified that a familiar game had turned mean.  The rules were changing.  Charley, of course knew women had breasts, but had never considered the the calamity of having them sprout on her flat chest.  Horns or hooves would have been more welcome.


Ask Auntie Linda


Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, My husband, Bob, had a cancerous kidney removed four years ago. Our marriage was never good. He is a truck driver and did well until three weeks ago when he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor after a seizure. Now, he is unable to work. His prognosis is poor and he needs my health insurance. We have three children. I had already told him I was leaving before all this happened. I could never leave him, now, with him being sick. He had already confronted me because of some text messages and emails he found, though I am pretty sure he has been unfaithful as well. He knows I have gotten involved with Mike, co-worker. I want a relationship with him.

Bob, our children, and I are all devastated by Bob’s illness and terminal diagnosis. They know I was leaving before all this happened, and immediately they all started…

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More Travels with Mother


Travels With Mother (Part 2)

The Most Fun You’ll Never Have, Kathleen’s Amazing Bathroom Tour!

It’s Not What You Tank!

God was with us.  We got to our destination, Hot Springs, Arkansas without a lot more drama.  We checked into our room, a nice suite with two king-sized beds and an extra bed for the fifth in our party.  For some reason, though it was 104 degrees, we freshened up a bit before going out to see the town, allowing us to start out with a less vintage sweat.  Within minutes, we were rank.  Not to be deterred by a little thing like heat exhaustion, we explored every shop on Main Street, till Mother found a little shop selling belly-dancing costumes. She wouldn’t be budged.  Now, as I’ve said before, Mother is tight.  She had no intention of making such a frivolous purchase, but had to admire herself in one. Every…

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